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By: Dave Cindrich

 

Bradís family has a long history of bass fishing in Minnesota that dates back to the 1950ís.  When his father returned from the Korean War he started to work for Honeywell and met an older gentleman from out East.  Bradís father was in his early 20ís.  This gentleman made the offer to Bradís father ďif you row me around these farm ponds, Iíll teach you what I know about Bass FishingĒ.  This gentleman from out East was at least 20 years ahead of his time in Bass Fishing.  The gentleman would go to a butcher and buy salt pork fat and shape it like a boat.  He made a weed less hook and used Phueleger reels, Dacron fishing line and he would cast these baits into the lily pads and reel them across the surface.  As they rowed around these ponds they caught 5, 6 and 7 pound bass.  Ironically these are the same lakes ď Lake Auburn Ē that Shane Raveling caught the Minnesota state record bass.  Bradís father got hooked on big bass fishing in the late 50í, early 60ís.  By the time Brad was 8 or 9 years old he was fishing some of Minnesota ís most popular bass lakes in Western Minnesota . 

In the early 80ís Brad met a gentleman who was a partner with Ron and Al Linder and they became good friends.  Brad started to travel with the In-Fisherman and within a period of 4-5 years he was fishing multi-species.  He feels he learned a tremendous amount of knowledge from the In-Fisherman.  Bradís friend retired and moved to Texas and that is when he started his tournament career in the early 80ís.  By the mid 80ís Brad was really into the tournament scene.  He would usually fish about two circuits a year or about 12 events in a season.  He is very passionate about tournaments, loves the sport and is grateful to have something he loves to do. 

The beginning of 2006 he was not having a good season, although he typically he does very well.  This summer he was struggling, fishing hard, and fishing the same way he usually does but this time it wasnít coming together.  What heíd like to tell new fisherman and older tournament anglers is if you just keep at it, keep poking your nose in there, good things will happen. 

Thatís what happened to him at Patoka Lake in Indiana .  He was having one of the worst years he had in a long time.  He went down there with the frame of mind that at this tournament he could make up for the whole year.  Luckily he got on a real good pattern, it held up and he was able to win $50,000.00 at the Bass Masterís Weekend Series Regional Championship.

Patoka was a new lake to him so he went down there a month earlier and fished as a non-boater in a divisional tournament to get a feel for the lake and what kind of fishery it was.  He saw the trees and all the milfoil and had some ideas from a past experience he had fishing Redman tournaments.  The lake reminded him of Truman only it was smaller.  In the fall bass have a tendency to suspend so his thoughts leaned towards crank baits and spinner baits.  During practice he used a DT3 flat Rapala, this was a new shallow running crank bait that you can throw around trees and it deflects very well with the square bill.  The pattern held up well.  The first day of the tournament he caught three fish, for thirteen pounds, the second day he caught two fish for nine pounds and the third day he had three fish for eleven pounds.  Basically his pattern was that you run into these coves off the river channels and you look for wood or milfoil, for the structure in the middle of the cove, not necessarily on the bank.  You run the bait into the milfoil and rip it for a reaction strike.

Brad had a chance to pre-fish for Nationals on Guntersville. He says heís not a rich man but like a farmer you reinvest in the farm, so after the check he cashed at regional he went to Guntersville over Thanksgiving week. He spent much of his time just driving around the lake; it was extremely cold for Alabama . It was actually colder there than it was in Minnesota .  He probably only caught a half dozen fish or so but feels he got a good feel for the lake.  He would like to point out that with the internet you can do so much research and gain years of knowledge in a very short time.  Itís an extremely valuable tool to him.  He researched what kind of weights it would take to win but says itís hard to find results for about anywhere in the country in the month of January, the time that the Nationals will be held.  He also went down before cutoffs and fished from sun up to sun down each day he was there.  He caught fish each day but would like to point out, whatever your abilities are, you are going to have some tough days, thatís just the way it is. You have to just keep grinding it out and eventually you will find some fish. 

Guntersvilleís is a real great place.  He feels so fortunate when he is there. For someone that is so passionate about bass fishing, he feels like he is in heaven because there is so much history there.  Thatís where BASS first started.  Youíre putting your boat in where someone like Roland Martin, Rick Clunn or Larry Nixon has been.  He feels just kind of giddy when he is fishing there, even if he isnít catching them.  He had some good days and some bad days and is very excited about returning.  He is looking forward for the opportunity to fish for the $100,000.00 and a spot in the Bass Masters Classic.  He says if you canít get excited about that, you canít get excited, because for a tournament angler that is the ultimate.  Minnesotans dominated at their regional.  Out of the top eight, five are from Minnesota .  He feels Minnesota is going to have a great showing at Nationals.

He feels Guntersville will favor Minnesota anglers because its weed infested, full of milfoil and hydrila.  If your from Minnesota , you know weíre dealing with weeds all the time.

Brad has a good job with Honeywell and is getting close to retirement.  He has a very stringent workout routine, he works out five days a week, trying to stay healthy to fish full time when he retires.  But he reminds us, you donít quit your day job because when you do, the fish will stop biting.  He does see himself fishing at a national level.

Brad feels in some of his pre tournament rituals he is a little over organized.  He tries to take control of the things he can control.  He spends a lot of time with his tackle, his boat and his equipment.  You will never find him out of oil on the lake, or with a dead battery.  Those are the things you have control over, you donít have control over the weather or if the fish move on you or if somebody gets to your spot before you do.  Double checking and triple checking can only benefit you and it will ease your mind.

His favorite way to cover water during tournaments is with crank baits.  He has won three major tournaments with this method.  Two back to back Shelbys and the Bass Master weekend Series Regional.  Totals in these events equal over $150,000.00.

Whether its lipless crank baits or deep diving crank baits, it suits his style of fishing.  If it becomes a finesse tournament he says he will get his butt kicked because he says he is not a very good finesse fisherman.  He doesnít like doing it, it is his weakest link but he still practices.  You practice your weakness and fish your strengths.  He feels his strongest strength is power fishing.

Brad would like to point out the new Rapala flat sided DT3 is an awesome lure.  The DT3 is coffin billed, coffin shaped and it really jumps when it hits wood or weeds.  If there is a new bait to try this year, the DT3 is the one.

Brad thinks fishermen are good at finding other fishermen and have a tendency to fish where other anglers fish.  He thinks the biggest mistake anglers make is to fish for other fishermen rather than fish.  ďIt may sound like a broken record and we have all heard it before but do your own thingí.  He would like to point out he has been there, he has hired guides and tried other peoples techniques, but you have find a pattern that works for you.  When you do, itís like having the lake to yourself, there is not a better feeling.

Brad feels itís important for family to know where your heart is at and you have to be honest with yourself before you can honest with other people.  If they canít accept that, you will have change something, you have to be true to yourself.  It can be very difficult; Brad sees a lot of people try to juggle family, work and fishing and feels you have to take control of your life to become the angler you want to become. You have to take care of business at home before you can go to the lake.

He feels one of the biggest things we need for the Future of bass angling in Minnesota is  to have a lot more respect for lake owners and other users of the lakes. We are very visible to all, our boats are big and very fast.  The sport has a tendency to build big egos and we need to become humble but he is quick to point out we donít have to lay down. We all need to be polite to each other and this is very easy to do. If you see a family at a ramp and you see they may be inexperienced, offer to help them out.  Brad also will never leave tackle on a dock; he will do whatever he needs to do to remove tackle from another personís property.  Always take a negative and try to turn it into a positive because if we do, our sport will last, if we donít, we will have problems. 

The biggest tip he can give to anyone is to fish for your own fish, practice your weaknesses and at tournament time, fish your strengths.

Please take the time to visit some of Brad's sponsors:
www.Rapala.com
www.StormLures.com
www.FriendlyChev.com
www.Daiwa.com
 www.Tritan.com 
www.MercuryMoters.com

www.Vexilar.com
www.Berkley-Fishing.com

Heís also involved with numerous charity fishing events over the years. Other Fishing Accomplishments:
Back to Back Winner of Don Shelby US Invitational Bass Tournament 1992, 1993,
1996 Silverado Pro Angler of the Year,
2002 Minnesota Pro-Am Bass Tour Pro Angler of the Year,
2003 1st Place Gander Mountain Pro-Am Bass Tour ( Gull Lake )
2005 Anglerís Elite Champion
2006 Bass Masterís Week end Series  on Pogegama MN .
2006 Bass Masterís Week End Series  Regional Lake Potoka Ind. Champion and many other local tournament and regional wins.